Posts Categorized : Health Education

Sexual Violence… There is Hope

Every 98 seconds in the United States, someone is sexually assaulted. Assault can include actions such as rape, molestation, or something as simple as groping. While every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted, at least 321,000 of these people are over 12 years old. Age does not define whether or not somebody can get assaulted. In all actuality, 54% of people who experience sexual violence and assault are between the ages of 18 and 34, but people between the ages of 12 and 34 have the highest risk of being assaulted.

Aside from age, gender and sexual identity has a lot to do with assault and sexual violence statistics. At least 1 in 6 women in the United States has been raped, and women between the ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely to get raped than the general population. Male college students (ages 18 to 24) are also five times more likely to get assaulted or raped than another male their age. And 21 percent of trans* and gender non-conforming college students have been raped or assaulted.

Sexual violence can have many negative long term effects, including PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), alcohol abuse, drug abuse, STD’s, and even suicide.

If you or someone you know are experiencing anything related to a sexual assault there are hotlines across the country you can reach out to. The Sexual Assault Hotline is a 24/7/365 hotline, and is always offering help to its callers. Just call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Sexual violence and assault are horrible things, and we can try and stop it by educating ourselves and our peers about what sexual violence and assault is and how you can get help. Help make the 98 seconds non-existent by educating yourself and those around you.

Fall Fitness, Get Healthy

With Summer 16 long gone, Fall can be a time to start putting on the pounds and getting lazy. Everyone has a new school schedule and trying to get into a new routine can leave fitness on the back burner. But actually, Fall is a great time to get out and exercise. The cool crisp weather is perfect to jog or take a nice brisk walk in the park. Take advantage of this time of year before the snowy weather makes it hard to go outside and be active. Make fitness apart of your routine and leave the excuses at home. Just like you shower every day or brush your teeth, make getting outside a part of your daily routine. The sooner you incorporate this into your day the easier and more natural it will come. You will soon come to see how you will want to get outside and it will become a regular part of your day. Eating healthy is also a key component. Replace sugary and fatty foods with fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of water. Pack your lunch bag with things like strawberries, apples or oranges instead of cookies and chips. Even doing this for one meal a day will help, and before you know it you will find yourself choosing healthy snacks versus unhealthy snacks. Don’t completely deprive yourself from the things you like but just keep in mind, everything in moderation. Set a goal for yourself that you will strive for daily and watch how getting fit will help your overall health and wellbeing. Now go and get out there, be active!

Summer fun in the sun, protect yourself.

It is officially Summer! It’s that time to head to the beach or lay out by the pool. Soaking up those rays can be tons of fun, but are you protecting yourself? Everyone loves how a great golden tan can look in the summer. However, the permanent damage the sun can do to your skin is no fun. Sunburn, wrinkles and even skin cancer are just a few consequences of not lathering on that SPF. Using sun block every time you are in the sun is quick and easy to do and will prevent you from the harsh UVA/UVB rays of the sun. Everyone is at risk, it doesn’t matter how light or dark your skin is naturally.

Sunburn is caused by excessive exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. There are two types of ultraviolet rays, UVA and UVB. Skin cancer in the United States is rapidly increasing. 1 in 87 people will develop skin cancer and 7,300 of them will die of skin cancer each year. So, is that tan really worth it after all? But, there are some things you can do to help prevent over exposure to the sun and still enjoy yourself this summer.

  • Limit the time you spend in the sun on the very first day, gradually increase your exposure day by day
  • Use sunscreen and make sure to reapply every 2 hours and after swimming
  • The sun can be extremely strong during the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. try and avoid sun exposure during these times.
  • Wear a hat to protect your head and face
  • Sit in the shade and take a break from the sun often



Free yourself from Depression with 5 steps!

Freedom from Depression… There is a Way Out

There are many challenges in life that can keep a young person feeling like life is a drag. These emotions often occur during adolescent years when we are going through so many changes and both our bodies and minds are starting to develop in to an adult. Gloominess, loss of interest in things that we once loved, anger, and just feeling like this will never end are some of the things we might feel. These are examples of depression.

But guess what, this happens sometimes and it’s okay. We all go through stages of depression in life. The important thing to do is find a way to get yourself out of feeling this way.

  • Acknowledge and Acceptance– Sometimes it is hard to even admit that we might have a problem and may be depressed.  Depression, that can be a scary word. However, like most things, recognizing there is a problem is the first step to recovery. Once you realize it, change it!
  • Switch it Up– Okay, you have recognized it and accepted it now it is time to conquer it. Changing your normal routine can change your mood and attitude. A simple thing like going for a walk after school or work can make you feel better. Or being proactive and making plans to hang out with family or friends. It is important to be around uplifting people who care about you. Being around positive people can really help change your mind set.
  • Get Out There– Motivate yourself to do things you would never do like join a gym or a new club or sport at school. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. You may be surprised at the new people you meet. And you will be surprised at the many things you can accomplish.
  • This too Shall Pass- Remind yourself that this is only for a season in life. Whatever you are going through will eventually be over. Things can seem bad now but everything has an ending. Nothing lasts forever and the circumstance you are in today may not be the same one month from now. 
  • You are Awesome! – Think about all of your accomplishments up to now. Remind yourself that you are a pretty great person and take pride in your achievements. You deserve a pat on the back. It is great to think about all the great things you have going on. You will be surprised at what you may have accomplished once you really sit back and think about it.
Great News for Teen Pregnancy Rates in the U.S.!

We hit a new record low this year in the number of teen pregnancies! According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the number of American teenage girls having babies this past year dropped another 8%, making the new teen pregnancy rate 22 of every 1,000 births were to teenage mothers,  compared to the 2014 rate of 24 of every 1,000. This is great news! 80% of teenage pregnancies are unplanned and can cause a many social, emotional, medical, and economic problems for the teen parents.  

Year after year we hope to see these rates continue to get lower and lower. After all, teen pregnancy is PREVENTABLE, and the numbers are showing we’re learning how to do just that. Abstinence, or not having sex at all, is the only 100% way to prevent pregnancy, however if you do decide to have sex, use a condom and/or a birth control method to make sure pregnancy does not occur. Sex can and should be amazing, fun and exciting, when you decide you’re ready for it. So when you do decide to have sex, take the proper steps to prevent pregnancy. To learn more about preventing pregnancy check out our birth control section.



SI Teen R.A.P.

Why are there so many birth control options?

Throughout time people have used methods to prevent pregnancy; birth control is not a new concept. Today, we have many safe, effective and reversible birth control methods available to us.

Do you know how many birth control options exist? There are about 15 different types of birth control. Abstinence, condoms, the pill, the implant, IUDs (Intra Uterine Devices) and many more just to name a few. You might be wondering why are there so many? How can a person choose? Well I’m about to tell you all you need to know.

It’s extremely important to find a birth control method that works you for, fits your individual needs, and is easy to use. Some birth control options don’t work for everyone, so when you have a variety to choose from, you’re more likely to find one that works best for you. It’s not always easy to find the one that’s best for you, so with some research, talking with your medical provider and possibly some trial and error, you’re bound to find one that works for you. Each option works differently, has different side effects, different costs and different levels of effectiveness. There is a method that works for everyone! To learn more about these options and start your research, check out the Birth Control tab of our website.

And if you’re interested in speaking with a medical provider about any of the options listed, contact us! Call us, text us, walk-in or make an appointment here.

Anna Bindi

Genius ways to sneak in more sleep!

Sleep is crucial for your health. Unfortunately, many of us are not getting the hours that we need. It is essential that we get enough sleep. Sleeping can  help  regulate  the hormones  in  our  bodies,  stabilize  the  fluids and  liquids inside  our  bodies,  and can also help  relieve stress and regulate  heart rate  levels.

Young people, like you and me, are not getting the proper amount of sleep because of many different reasons. Some of those reasons are studying or doing schoolwork into the late night hours, working, or simply going to bed too late. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do what we need to do, so we end up sleeping less. So what can be done about this?

Well, the answer is quite simple…. get more sleep! Easier said than done right? The key to this is really better time management. Make all the hours in your day count. Instead of hanging in the cafeteria with friends on your free period, go to the library and do some school work. Instead of staying up late to watch the new Walking Dead episode, skip it and watch it on demand another day. Do whatever you can to make sure that you get at least eight hours of sleep each night. Some simple tips to help you out….don’t have your phone, computer or television on while you sleep, leave a couple of hours between eating and going to bed, keep your room dark and cool, and set a bed time ritual that helps your mind and body get ready for bed. Make your sleep a priority! It’s more important than you think.

Tireek Rattler

How do you know you need Plan B?

Do you know when you would need Plan B? What is it used for? Do you know where you can get it? If you’re not able to answer these questions, we’re here to help!

Plan B is emergency contraception. It is a form of birth control that is used after having unprotected sex. It will prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after having sex. It’s usually called Plan B, but it can also be referred to as the morning after pill or EC.

The following are situations where Plan B could or should be used…

  • If you didn’t use any birth control method
  • The condom that was being used came off or broke during sex
  • You missed an active birth control pill or misused your method of birth control (see for birth control use instructions)
  • If your partner does not pull out in time. (Although we don’t recommend pulling out as a method anyway.)

You can get Plan B from any clinic that provides sexual reproductive health services or it can also be purchased over the counter at drugstores without needing a prescription or proof of age. For more information on Plan B check out .

Shanelle Lopez

How do you get HIV?

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV is found in blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. The virus spreads mainly through unprotected sex/ sexual contact. You can also get HIV by sharing needles. HIV can take up to ten years to show symptoms or get someone really sick. The only way you can ‘tell’ whether or not somebody has the virus is by getting an HIV test. HIV damages your immune system so that one might not be able to fight of common illnesses that someone without HIV would be able to fight off. These illnesses include small things, such as the common cold. HIV cannot be cured. HIV can, in some cases, develop into AIDS. HIV becomes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) when an HIV-infected persons T-cell count goes below 200 or when they develop one or more opportunistic infections. AIDS requires medical treatment, or it can result in death. You can prevent HIV/AIDS by having protected sex (using male/female condoms), abstinence, and by not sharing needs needles. Make sure to attend Curtis High School’s HIV/AIDS week, February 9- February 12.

Teen Health Educator
Sophomore / CHS

Four proven ways to get rid of stress!

Life is full of ups and downs and stress is a part of life. Sometimes though, stress can be overwhelming!

So what is stress? The Oxford dictionary definition of stress is that it’s “a state of mental or emotional strain and tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances”. To feel stressed out is common and you are not alone. Stress occurs when our nervous system tells the body to release a flood of stress hormones. It’s very normal to feel or be stressed—it’s our body’s reaction to a demanding task.

There are many things that can cause stress—school, friends, work, family, finances, etc. There are also many things you can do to not feel stressed out. As a teenager, most of us are in the midst of taking finals, regents or other exams. I definitely feel the stress and I know a lot of you out there do too.

Here are some of my tips to dealing with stress:

Stop Over Thinking. Take a break and breathe. Find things that require a lot of thoughtless action such as singing, dancing, looking at the stars, reading, and listening to music.

Diet & Sleep. Our eating habits play a huge role in how stressed we are. Are you eating enough and staying healthy? Are you catching enough zzzz’s? Try eating right and drinking more water. Water is not only good for your body when you’re feeling stressed, but really good for you in general. In fact, the human body is 70% water!

Environment. Is your environment toxic? Try to be aware of what you are surrounded by. Environment plays a major role in your mental health. Your environment can include your friends and family, the music you listen to, social media, and a bunch of other things. Sometimes it can be the people closest to you that are the most toxic. This could be a tough situation to deal with but if they are causing you more stress than peace, it might be time to take a break and give yourself space.

Spirituality. Getting in tune with your spirituality helps with your stress level and mental state. Meditating or praying is such an easy way to stay stress free. It’s also free! If meditation or prayer is not for you, try yoga or another form of light exercise that will help you stay calm and stress free.

Remember your life isn’t has hard as you may think it is. Stay positive and good luck on those exams!

Teen Health Educator
Senior / CHS

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